Martyrdom of Polycarp
Martyrdom of Polycarp is a manuscript written in the form of a letter that relates the religious martyrdom of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna and disciple of John the Apostle in the 2nd century AD. It forms the earliest account of Christian martyrdom outside of the New Testament; the author of Martyrdom of Polycarp is unknown, but it has been attributed to members of the group of early Christian theologians known as the Church Fathers. The letter, sent from the church in Smyrna to another church in Asia Minor at Philomelium, is written from the point of view of an eye-witness, recounting the arrest of the elderly Polycarp, the Romans' attempt to execute him by fire, subsequent miraculous events; the letter takes influence from both Jewish martyrdom texts in the Gospels. Furthermore, the Martyrdom of Polycarp promotes an ideology of martyrdom, by delineating the proper conduct of a martyr. Modern critical editions of the Martyrdom of Polycarp are compiled from three different categories of manuscript: seven Greek manuscripts, the fourth century Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea, a single Latin manuscript.
The Greek manuscripts are all from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries. Of the seven manuscripts, six provide a similar account of the martyrdom of Polycarp and are thus believed to represent a single family of texts; the seventh manuscript, known as the Moscow Codex and dating to the thirteenth century, contains a more elaborate final chapter. In addition to the Greek manuscripts there are the writings of Eusebius related in his Ecclesiastical History, written around AD 324–325. Eusebius summarizes the martyrdom and ends his account at 19.1, omitting the concluding sections that relate the transmission of the text, as well as the passion narrative parallels. The Latin version of the Martyrdom dating from the tenth century exists as an independent account of the martyrdom but does not offer any variance upon the text. There is an Old Church Slavonic translation that serves as an independent witness. Little corroborating evidence exists to assist in the dating of the Martyrdom of Polycarp. Alternatively, historians have attempted to assign a date to the actual death of Polycarp.
Three dates have been proposed for Polycarp's death: Estimated as 155 AD or 156 AD due to the known proconsuls of Asia, such as Quadratus and the chronological statements in MartPol 21. 167 AD due to Eusebius dating of MartPol to the seventh year of the reign of Marcus Aurelius. 177 AD as argued by Grégoire and Orgels that the phrase “seventh year” in Eusebius's account is miswritten and means the “seventeenth year” of Marcus Aurelius. The'Martyrdom' of Polycarp, along with other documents of the Apostolic Fathers plays a central role in bridging the New Testament and emerging Christian writers in the latter half of the second century, such as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. In his youth he is said to have known the apostles and in his years Irenaeus. Due to the linking historical weight that the martyrdom text carries its historicity is a point of debate in scholarship. A challenge to the dates could well call into question the authenticity of the document itself. Part of the skepticism regarding the MartPol text has centered on the number of parallels with the passion narratives of the Gospels, including Polycarp's prediction of his capture and death, the eirenarch named Herod, the arrest of Polycarp "with weapons as if he were a criminal", Polycarp being carried on a donkey back to Smyrna, miraculous occurrences such as the ‘voice from heaven’ urging Polycarp to ‘Be strong and be a man!’.
On the other hand, the fact of an overlay of interpretation does not in itself invalidate the historicity. Moreover, none of these elements is implausible; some have maintained that the most difficult aspect of the narrative to accept as authentic is its treatment of Roman legal proceedings. In fact, Polycarp's trial is represented as taking place before one of the leading magistrates of the Empire on a public holiday, in the middle of a sport stadium, with no use of the tribunal, no formal legal accusation, no official sentence. Though the trials of Christians, of all subjects for that matter, were subject to the governor's procedural method of cognitio extra ordinem, some feel that this still does not explain the lack of a formal legal accusation and sentence; this line of argumentation against historicity could be all the more serious in so far as Roman capital trial procedure would have been well known to the population of the time. Some have proposed that the Martyrdom of Polycarp is in fact a theological composition designed to support a particular understanding of martyrdom in relation to the Christian Gospel, among the elements cited being biblical parallelism, perceived apologia for lack of surviving relics, appearance of the expression'Catholic church', the behavior of Quintus, the inventio-styled epigrams, a clear preoccupation with the status of the martyrs.
Some have gone so far as to suggest a late date for the composition of the text in the first half of third century. The Martyrdom of Polycarp is recognized as taking on two literary forms, it is considered to be a letter as well as a martyr act. The construction of the text follows a letter format, it is a letter sent by the church in Smyrna to the church in Philomelium but was meant to be circulated t
Apocalypse of Peter
The Apocalypse of Peter is an early Christian text of the 2nd century and an example of apocalyptic literature with Hellenistic overtones. It is not in the Bible, but is mentioned in the Muratorian fragment, the oldest surviving list of New Testament books, which states it was not allowed to be read in church by others; the text is extant in two incomplete versions of a lost Greek original, one Koine Greek, an Ethiopic version, which diverge considerably. As compiled by William MacComber and others, the number of Ethiopic manuscripts of this same work continue to grow; the Ethiopic work is of colossal size and post-conciliar provenance, therefore in any of its variations it has minimal intertextuality with the Apocalypse of Peter, known in Greek texts. The Greek manuscript was unknown until it was discovered during excavations initiated by Gaston Maspéro during the 1886–87 season in a desert necropolis at Akhmim in Upper Egypt; the fragment consisted of parchment leaves of the Greek version, claimed to be deposited in the grave of a Christian monk of the 8th or 9th century.
The manuscript is in the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo. The Ethiopic version was discovered in 1910. Before that, the work had been known only through copious quotations in early Christian writings. In addition, some common lost source had been necessary to account for parallel passages in such apocalyptic Christian literature as the Apocalypse of Esdras, the Apocalypse of Paul, the Passion of Saint Perpetua; the terminus post quem—the point after which we know the Apocalypse of Peter must have been written—is revealed by its use of 4 Esdras, written about 100 AD. The intellectually simple Apocalypse of Peter, with its Hellenistic Greek overtones, belongs to the same genre as the Clementine literature, popular in Alexandria. Like the Clementine literature, the Apocalypse of Peter was written for a popular audience and had a wide readership; the Muratorian fragment, the earliest existing list of canonical sacred writings of the New Testament, assigned on internal evidence to the last quarter of the 2nd century, gives a list of works read in the Christian churches, similar to the modern accepted canon.
The Muratorian fragment states: "the Apocalypses of John and Peter only do we receive, which some among us would not have read in church." The scholar Oscar Skarsaune makes a case for dating the composition to the Bar Kochba revolt. The Apocalypse of Peter is framed as a discourse of the Risen Christ to his faithful, offering a vision first of heaven, of hell, granted to Peter. In the form of a nekyia it goes into elaborate detail about the punishment in hell for each type of crime to be depicted by Hieronymus Bosch and the pleasures given in heaven for each virtue. In heaven, in the vision, People have pure milky white skin, curly hair, are beautiful The earth blooms with everlasting flowers and spices People wear shiny clothes made of light, like the angels Everyone sings in choral prayerThe punishments in the vision each correspond to the past sinful actions in a version of the Jewish notion of an eye for an eye, that the punishment may fit the crime; some of the punishments in hell according to the vision include: Blasphemers are hanged by the tongue.
Women who "adorn" themselves for the purpose of adultery, are hung by the hair over a bubbling mire. The men who had adulterous relationships with them are hung by their feet, with their heads in the mire, next to them. Murderers and those who give consent to murder are set in a pit of creeping things that torment them. Men who take on the role of women in a sexual way, lesbians, are "driven" up a great cliff by punishing angels, are "cast off" to the bottom, they are forced up it, over and over again, ceaselessly, to their doom. Women who have abortions are set in a lake formed from the blood and gore from all the other punishments, up to their necks, they are tormented by the spirits of their unborn children, who shoot a "flash of fire" into their eyes. Those who lend money and demand "usury upon usury" stand up to their knees in a lake of foul matter and blood."The Revelation of Peter shows remarkable kinship in ideas with the Second Epistle of Peter. It presents notable parallels to the Sibylline Oracles while its influence has been conjectured with certainty, in the Acts of Perpetua and the visions narrated in the Acts of Thomas and the History of Barlaam and Josaphat.
It was one of the sources from which the writer of the Vision of Paul drew. And directly or indirectly it may be regarded as the parent of all the mediaeval visions of the other world."The Gospel parables of the budding fig tree and the barren fig tree selected from the parousia of Matthew 24, appear only in the Ethiopic version. The two parables are joined, the setting "in the summer" has been transferred to "the end of the world", in a detailed allegory in which the tree becomes Israel and the flourishing shoots become Jews who have adopted Jesus as Messiah and achieve martyrdom. There is a section which explains that in the end God will save all sinners from their plight in Hell: "My Father will give unto them all the life, the glory, the kingdom that passeth not away... It is because of them, it is because of them that have believed in me, that, at their word, I shall have pity on men... "Thus, sinners
Gospel of the Hebrews
The Gospel of the Hebrews, or Gospel according to the Hebrews, was a syncretic Jewish–Christian gospel. The text of the gospel is lost with only fragments of it surviving as brief quotations by the early Church Fathers and in apocryphal writings; the fragments contain traditions of Jesus' pre-existence, incarnation and probable temptation, along with some of his sayings. Distinctive features include a Christology characterized by the belief that the Holy Spirit is Jesus' Divine Mother and a first resurrection appearance to James, the brother of Jesus, showing a high regard for James as the leader of the Jewish Christian church in Jerusalem, it was composed in Greek in the first decades of the 2nd century, is believed to have been used by Greek-speaking Jewish Christians in Egypt during that century. It is the only Jewish–Christian gospel which the Church Fathers referred to by name, believing there was only one Hebrew Gospel in different versions. Passages from the gospel were quoted or summarized by three Alexandrian Fathers – Clement and Didymus the Blind.
The gospel was used as a supplement to the canonical gospels to provide source material for their commentaries based on scripture. Eusebius included it in his list of disputed writings known as the Antilegomena, noting that it was used by "Hebrews" within the Church; the original Aramaic/Hebrew gospel used by the Jewish sect of Ebionites did not contain the genealogical records now appended to the Greek gospels, which omission is explained by Epiphanius as being because "they insist that Jesus was man."Modern scholars classify the Gospel of the Hebrews as one of the three Jewish–Christian gospels, along with the Gospel of the Nazarenes and the Gospel of the Ebionites. Others suggest that these three titles may have been referring to the same book. All are known today only from fragments preserved in quotations by the early Church Fathers; the relationship between the Jewish–Christian gospels and a hypothetical original Hebrew Gospel remains a speculation. The Gospel of the Hebrews is the only Jewish–Christian gospel which the Church Fathers refer to by name.
The language of composition is thought to be Greek. The provenance has been associated with Egypt; the communities to which they belonged were traditional, conservative Christians who followed the teaching of the primitive Christian church in Jerusalem, integrating their understanding of Jesus with strict observance of Jewish customs and law, which they regarded as essential to salvation. Despite this, the gospel displays no connection with other Jewish–Christian literature, nor does it appear to be based on the Gospel of Matthew or the other canonical gospels of what is now orthodox Christianity. Instead, it seems to be taken from alternative oral forms of the same underlying traditions; some of the fragments suggest a syncretic gnostic influence, while others support close ties to traditional Jewish Wisdom literature. The Gospel of the Hebrews is preserved in fragments quoted or summarized by various early Church Fathers; the full extent of the original gospel is unknown. Based on the surviving fragments, the overall structure of the gospel appears to have been similar to the canonical ones.
It consisted of a narrative of the life of Jesus which included his baptism, transfiguration, last supper and resurrection. The gospel contained sayings of Jesus; the events in the life of Jesus have been interpreted in a way that reflects Jewish ideas present in a Hellenistic cultural environment. There is wide agreement about seven quotations cited by Philipp Vielhauer in the critical 3rd German edition of Wilhelm Schneemelcher's New Testament Apocrypha, translated by George Ogg; the translations below follow Vielhauer's order:1. When Christ wished to come upon the earth to men, the good Father summoned a mighty power in heaven, called Michael, entrusted Christ to the care thereof, and the power came into the world and was called Mary, Christ was in her womb seven months. Fragment 1 identifies Jesus as the son of the Holy Spirit, and it came to pass when the Lord was come up out of the water, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended upon him and rested on him and said to him: My Son, in all the prophets was I waiting for thee that thou shouldest come and I might rest in thee.
For thou art my rest. Fragment 2 uses the language of Jewish Wisdom literature, but applies it to the Holy Spirit: the Spirit has waited in vain through all the prophets for the Son; the "rest" that the Holy Spirit finds in the Son belongs to the Christian gnostic idea of the pre-existent Redeemer who becomes incarnate in Jesus.3. So did my mother, the Holy Spirit, take me by one of my hairs and carry me away on to the great mountain Tabor. Fragments 2 and 3, giving accounts of Jesus' baptism and temptation or transfiguration, spring from the widespread Greco-Roman myth of the descent of divine Wisdom.
Acts of Xanthippe, Polyxena, and Rebecca
The Acts of Xanthippe and Rebecca is a New Testament Apocrypha dating from the third or fourth century. Regarding its place in literature, twentieth century classicist scholar Moses Hadas writes: "Christians learned not only from pagan preachers but from pagan romancers; the orthodox Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena... has all the thrilling kidnapings and surprises of the typical Greek romance". The tale is set in the time of Nero and consists of two completely separate stories: the tale of Xanthippe and the tale of Polyxena. Although a third woman named Rebecca is included in the title, she doesn't figure as a major character; the liturgical feast of these figures is Sept. 23. Having witnessed Paul preach in Rome, a servant returns to Spain and falls sick due to wishing to have heard Paul properly; the master's wife, overhears the servant explaining this, so she speaks with the servant, which causes statues of the household gods to fall down. Xanthippe thereupon proceeds to fast, lose sleep, enter into celibacy wasting away.
Paul is led by God to come to Xanthippe but, when she expresses a desire to be baptized, her husband throws Paul out and locks Xanthippe up. Xanthippe prays that her husband will fall asleep at dinner, which he does, so she is able to escape the house by bribing the porter. On her way to Paul, Xanthippe is attacked by demons wielding fire and lightning, from which she is saved by a vision of Jesus and Paul finding her. Paul takes her indoors where she is baptised and given the Eucharist. Returning home, Xanthippe collapses, her husband soon awakes and, asks some wise men for an interpretation. They declare that the dream reveals the struggle between Satan and Christ and advise that the husband be baptized; when they look in on his wife Xanthippe, expecting her to be near death, they discover her singing praises to Jesus. This impresses the wise men to the extent. All of this induces her husband to convert. Xanthippe's younger sister, Polyxena has a dream in which she is swallowed by a dragon but rescued by a beautiful youth.
Xanthippe thinks this means that Satan will win Polyxena unless she is baptized. But Polyxena's initial attempts to secure baptism fail and she is abducted in the night by an enemy of Polyxena's boyfriend and put on a ship to Babylonia; the winds, force the ship to approach one bearing the apostle Peter, directed by a vision. But demons prevent them meeting; the ship, goes off course to Greece, where the apostle Philip has come. Having been directed by a vision, Philip rescues Polyxena; when his thirty servants, armed with a cross, go to meet the abductor's army of 8,000, they slay 5,000 soldiers before the remainder flee. But Polyxena has meanwhile fled in fear, she ends up lost and unintentionally walks into the empty den of a lioness. When the lioness returns, Polyxena begs the animal not to eat her. So the lioness leads her east out of the woods to a road and goes back to her den; the apostle Andrew coincidentally walks past and Polyxena asks for baptism. So they find a Jewish slave held captive there.
Both are baptized when the lioness returns and asks Andrew to perform the task. After Andrew departs, the women gain the company of an ordinary Christian driving a cart but lose it when they are abducted by a passing prefect. Rebecca manages to escape and flee to an old woman's house. Meanwhile, Polyxena begs the prefect's servants to preserve her virginity; the prefect's son, a convert to Christianity after witnessing Paul's effect on Thecla, disguises her in his clothing and sends her to the shore to catch a ship. But a villainous servant reports them, they are thrown to a lioness in the arena. But the lioness turns out to be the one encountered and does no harm; as a result, the entire city takes this to be proof of the truth of Christianity and so convert en-masse. The narrator reveals himself as Onesimus, a sailor who has received a vision telling him to go to a certain part of Greece and pick up both Polyxena and the prefect's son. However, after his arrival, a storm keeps everyone there for seven days.
So Lucius, on board, teaches Christianity to the entire city. The prefect gratefully supplies provisions to the ship and it leaves, it comes to rest on an island. The fierce inhabitants there attack but are defeated, though Polyxena fearfully dives into the sea and has to be rescued. All arrive back in Spain and meet Paul; when Polyxena's abductor returns, Paul converts him as well. Gorman, Jill. Reading and Theorizing Women's Sexualities: The Representation of Women in the Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena. Gorman, Jill. Thinking with and about "Same-Sex Desire": Producing and Policing Female Sexuality in the Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena Journal of the History of Sexuality - Volume 10, Number 3 and 4, July/October 2001, pp. 416–441. Moses Hadas. Three Greek Romances, The Liberal Arts Press, Inc. a division of The Bobbs Merrill Company, Inc.: Indianapolis, Indiana. 1953. ISBN 0-672-60442-6 English translation of the work on the website of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.
Catholic.org Introduction to the Acts of Xanthippe and Rebecca
Gospel of Barnabas
The Gospel of Barnabas is a book depicting the life of Jesus, which claims to be by the biblical Barnabas who in this work is one of the twelve apostles. Two manuscripts are known to have existed, both dated to the late 16th or early 17th centuries, with one written in Italian and the other in Spanish; the Spanish manuscript is now lost, its text surviving only in a partial 18th-century transcript. Barnabas is about the same length as the four canonical gospels put together, with the bulk being devoted to an account of Jesus' ministry, much of it harmonized from accounts found in the canonical gospels. In some key respects, it conforms to the Islamic interpretation of Christian origins and contradicts the New Testament teachings of Christianity; the text of this Gospel is pseudepigraphical. However, some academics suggest that it may contain some remnants of an earlier, apocryphal work, redacted to bring it more in line with Islamic doctrine; some Muslims consider the surviving versions as transmitting a suppressed apostolic original.
Some Islamic organizations cite it in support of the Islamic view of Jesus. This work should not be confused with the surviving Epistle of Barnabas, nor with the surviving Acts of Barnabas; the earliest reference to a Barnabas gospel, agreed to correspond with the one found in the two known manuscripts, is in Morisco manuscript BNM MS 9653 in Madrid, written about 1634 by Ibrahim al-Taybili in Tunisia. While describing how the Bible predicts Muhammad, he speaks of the "Gospel of Saint Barnabas where one can find the light"; the first published account of the Gospel was in 1717, when a brief reference to the Spanish text is found in De religione Mohamedica by Adriaan Reland. Both Italian and Spanish texts are referred to in 1734 by George Sale in The Preliminary Discourse to the Koran: The Muhammadans have a Gospel in Arabic, attributed to saint Barnabas, wherein the history of Jesus Christ is related in a manner different from what we find in the true Gospels, correspondent to those traditions which Muhammad has followed in his Quran.
Of this Gospel the Moriscoes in Africa have a translation in Spanish. This book appears to be no original forgery of the Muhammadans, though they have no doubt interpolated and altered it since, the better to serve their purpose. Sale's translation of the Qur'an text became the standard English version at that time. However, in his description of the Gospel in the Preliminary Discourse, Sale was relying on second-hand accounts. For example, contrary to Sale's notice, the words paraclete or periclyte are not explicitly found in the text of either the Spanish or Italian versions. Subsequent to the preparation of the Preliminary Discourse, Sale was able to borrow the Spanish manuscript itself and had a transcript made. A "Gospel according to Barnabas" is mentioned in two early Christian lists of "Apocrypha" works: the Latin text of Decretum Gelasianum, as well as a 7th-century Greek List of the Sixty Books; these lists are independent witnesses. In 1698 John Ernest Grabe found an otherwise unreported saying of Jesus, attributed to the Apostle Barnabas, amongst the Greek manuscripts in the Baroccian collection in the Bodleian Library.
John Toland translates the quotation as, The Apostle Barnabas says, he gets the worst of it who overcomes in evil contentions. Subsequent scholars examining the Italian and Spanish texts have been unable, however, to confirm Toland's observation; this work should not be confused with the surviving Epistle of Barnabas, which may have been written in 2nd century Alexandria. There is no link between the two books in style, content, or history other than their attribution to Barnabas. On the issue of circumcision, the books hold different views, that of the epistle's rejection of the Jewish practice as opposed to the gospel's promotion of the same. Neither should it be confused with the surviving Acts of Barnabas, which narrates an account of Barnabas' travels and burial, and, thought to have been written in Cyprus sometime after 431. In A. D. 478, during the reign of the Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno, archbishop Anthemios of Cyprus announced that the hidden burial place of Barn
Epistle of Barnabas
The Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek epistle written between 70–132 CE. It is preserved complete in the 4th-century Codex Sinaiticus, where it appears after the New Testament and before the Shepherd of Hermas. For several centuries it was one of the "antilegomena" writings that some Christians looked on as sacred scripture, while others excluded them. Eusebius of Caesarea classified it as such, it is mentioned in a third-century list in the sixth-century Codex Claromontanus and in the Stichometry of Nicephorus appended to the ninth-century Chronography of Nikephoros I of Constantinople. Some early Fathers of the Church ascribed it to the Barnabas, mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, but it is now attributed to an otherwise unknown early Christian teacher of the same name, it is distinct from the Gospel of Barnabas. The 4th-century Codex Sinaiticus, discovered by Constantin von Tischendorf in 1859 and published by him in 1862, contains a complete text of the Epistle placed after the canonical New Testament and followed by the Shepherd of Hermas.
The 11th-century Codex Hierosolymitanus, which includes the Didache, the two Epistles of Clement and the longer version of the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch, is another witness to the full text. It was discovered by Philotheos Bryennios at Constantinople in 1873 and published by him in 1875. Adolf Hilgenfeld used it for his 1877 edition of the Epistle of Barnabas. A family of 10 or 11 manuscripts dependent on the 11th-century Codex Vaticanus graecus 859 contain chapters 5:7b−21:9 placed as a continuation of a truncated text of Polycarp's letter to the Philippians. An old Latin version of no than the end of the 4th century, preserved in a single 9th-century manuscript gives the first 17 chapters This is a literal rendering in general, but is sometimes shorter than the Greek text. S and H agree on readings. G agrees with L against S and H. A small papyrus fragment of the third or fourth century has the first 6 verses of chapter 9, there are a few fragments in Syriac of chapters 1, 19,20; the writings of Clement of Alexandria give a few brief quotations, as to a smaller extent do Origen, Didymus the Blind and Jerome.
The Epistle was attributed to Barnabas, the companion of Paul the Apostle, by Clement of Alexandria and Origen. Clement quotes it with phrases such as "the Apostle Barnabas says". Origen speaks of it as the General Epistle of Barnabas, its inclusion in close proximity to the New Testament in the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Hierosolymitanus witnesses to the near-canonical authority it held for some Christians, but is evidence of its popularity and usefulness, not of canonicity. Eusebius, excluded it from "the accepted books", classifying it as among the "rejected" or "spurious" writings, while applying to it, as to many others, the term "the disputed books", but not the description "the disputed writings, which are recognized by many", a class composed of the Epistle of James, the Second Epistle of Peter, the Second and the Third Epistle of John; as for the Book of Revelation, Eusebius says it was rejected by some but by others placed among the accepted books. In the sixth-century Codex Claromontanus a list, dating from the third or fourth century, of Old Testament and New Testament books mentions, with an indication of doubtful or disputed canonicity, the Epistle of Barnabas along with the Pastor of Hermas, the Acts of Paul and the Apocalypse of Peter.
The Stichometry of Nicephorus, a list of uncertain date appended to the Chronography of the early 9th century Nikephoros I of Constantinople, puts the Epistle of Barnabas among its four "disputed" New Testament works — along with the Book of Revelation, the Revelation of Peter and the Gospel of the Hebrews — but not among its seven "New Testament apocrypha". In 16.3–4, the Epistle of Barnabas reads:Furthermore he says again, "Behold, those who tore down this temple will themselves build it." It is happening. For because of their fighting it was torn down by the enemies, and now the servants of the enemies will themselves rebuild it. As interpreted, this passage places the Epistle after the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70, it places the Epistle before the Bar Kochba Revolt of AD 132, after which there could have been no hope that the Romans would help to rebuild the temple. The document must therefore come from the period between the two Jewish revolts. Attempts at identifying a more precise date are conjectures.
The Encyclopædia Britannica puts the latest possible date at AD 130. and for the actual date of composition gives "circa AD 100". Its 1911 edition opted for "the reign of Vespasian", shortly after the Catholic Encyclopedia had preferred AD 130−131 in an article by Paulin Ladeuze, AD 96−98 in an article by John Bertram Peterson. On a more precise dating within the limits associated with the Jerusalem temple there is thus an "absence of scholarly consensus". Jay Curry Treat comments on the absence in the Epistle of Barnabas of citations from the New Testament: Although Barnabas 4:14 appears to quote Matt 22:14, it must remain an open question whether the Barnabas circle knew written gospels. Based on Koester's analysis, it appears more that Barnabas stood in the living oral tradition used by the written gospels. For example, the reference to gall and vinegar in Barnabas 7:3, 5 seems to preserve an early stage of tradition that